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How do I share with others using Dropbox?

Dropbox can help you collaborate with others and stay on top of your projects—without stressing about file sizes, version mix-ups, and lost feedback. Collaboration just got a whole lot easier.

The new and improved way to work together

Working with others on projects big and small just got easier and more delightful.

What sharing method is right for you?

You have options. Dropbox lets you control who can view, edit, comment, or further share files or folders.

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Private folders

You can tell that a folder is private if the front of it is blank. A private folder works like any other folder: You can move it, rename it, add stuff to it, or delete it.

Note: Only you can access what’s inside a private folder in your Dropbox account.

If you invite someone to that folder, then it’s no longer private.

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Shared folders

Sharing a folder gives others the ability to either view and edit, or just view. If you select Can view, they can view, download, and comment on a file but not edit it. You manage and configure sharing. How can you tell it’s a shared folder? There’s an icon of people on the front of the folder.

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Links

You can also share files with anyone, even non-Dropbox users, by creating a link to a file or folder. You can send the link through email, instant message, even social networks. Recipients can view, comment, or download a copy of the shared file but can’t edit the original file in your Dropbox account. They’ll be able to see the latest updates, even after the link is created. You can also control permissions for shared links by setting passwords and expiration dates. And Dropbox links shouldn’t break, even if you rename or move a folder or file in your account. Need to intentionally break a link to prevent access to a shared file or folder? No problem, just remove the shared link from the file.

While comments on shared links are great for reviews, links don’t allow for two-way collaboration. So if you want to let others edit the content, invite someone with edit access instead of just sharing the link.

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File requests

File requests allow you to receive files from anyone, perfect for large files or large collections of files. It organizes everything you’re collecting in one place and keeps your own files on Dropbox private. Only you can view what others have uploaded—unless you want to share!

Sharing on your own terms

With Dropbox, you can pick and choose how you share your most important files and folders.

If you need others to give feedback or collaborate on your work, you can give them edit access. But if you don’t want others to make changes, you can share view-only links instead.

And you never have to worry about the safety of your files. You can share files securely by giving only certain people access to your file (this is called “authenticated sharing”). This limits who recipients can share those files with and it means they’ll have to sign in to view your file.

With all of these options available, you can share your own way, on your own terms.

Sharing links, your way

Creating a shared link is an easy way to share a file or a folder with anyone—even if they don’t have a Dropbox account. Dropbox gives you the ability to customize how and what you share through settings and permissions.

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Sharing a folder

To share a folder that's inside the Dropbox folder on your computer, right-click the folder and then click Share. Then, enter the email addresses of the people you want to share with, and select permissions. Selecting Can edit gives that person the ability to edit, delete, comment, and add content to the folder. Can view means the person you share with can only view, comment on, or download content.

Keep in mind that the URL at the top of your browser isn’t a shared link. Sending that URL won’t work.

Want to use dropbox.com to share? No worries:

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com.
  2. Hover over the folder that you want to share.
  3. Select the share icon that appears.
  4. Enter the email of the person you want to share with, and set permissions.
Keep it (even more) secure

When dealing with confidential or sensitive materials, you have options to control how your content is accessed. You can set who can view your shared link, and you can add passwords and expiration dates to your link.

One other way to further control access to shared files is to enter the specific people you want to have access. To do this, click the share icon or button on dropbox.com or the badge on any Microsoft Office files saved in your Dropbox account. Then type in the email addresses of the people you want to have access.

Sharing in this way is what we call “authenticated sharing,” and it means that the person you share with must have a Dropbox account and be signed in to access the file.

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Common questions

Have a question about sharing or collaborating? We’ve likely got an answer. If you have a question that’s not listed here, check out help.dropbox.com for more answers.

Can I unshare a folder?

Yes, you can unshare a folder. When you unshare, you’ll be able to decide whether members can keep a copy of the folder.

My shared link isn’t working anymore. Why?

There are a few reasons that might cause a link to not work. For example, the link might have expired, the owner might have changed the settings of the link, or you might not be signed in to Dropbox. Authenticated links require viewers to be signed in.

I added a folder I don’t want or need access to anymore. How do I get rid of it?

It’s easy. First, sign in to dropbox.com and select Shared in the left sidebar. Under the Folders tab, scroll down to the folder in question and select the (…) ellipsis next to the folder. Then select Remove from Dropbox.

Don’t delete the folder please! Remember that any action you take on a shared folder will affect everyone in that folder, even deleting.

Try it out

Would you like a little more practice with creating and sharing new folders? What about joining someone else’s shared folder? View this tutorial and follow along in your Dropbox account.

Create, share, or add

See just how easy it is to create shared folders, share existing folders, or add shared folders from others.

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Share from File Explorer or Finder

You can easily share directly from the Dropbox folder in File Explorer or Finder. Simply right-click the folder and select Share.